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Bringing your brand to life: helping people to tell their stories honestly | The power of human stories conference | 28 February 2019

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Shree Rajani, head of communications, Versus Arthritis

Visit the CharityComms website to view slides from past events, see what events we have coming up and to check out what else we do: www.charitycomms.org.uk

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Bringing your brand to life: helping people to tell their stories honestly | The power of human stories conference | 28 February 2019

  1. 1. Hello!
  2. 2. We’ll cover today… • The problem we were tackling • Unexpected road blocks • How we got around them • Top tips to take away Bringing your brand to life: helping people to tell their stories honestly
  3. 3. Two mins… What is arthritis? How do you think it’s perceived in society?
  4. 4. What is arthritis? • Dictionary definition: a disease causing painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints. • Reality: 200 conditions causing pain, fatigue and isolation
  5. 5. What does this mean? • 91% believe it’s a problem and seriously impacts people • 68% think it’s a problem that affects us all • 28% believe it should receive the same level of support/funding as other health conditions such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes
  6. 6. And so what does this mean for people with arthritis? • They hide their reality – dismiss their own condition because the people around them do as well. Put on their ‘Glad face’ • Stop seeking support • Struggle in silence • Feel like they are not understood
  7. 7. SO what are we doing?
  8. 8. Putting it in to action • Latest campaign was all about challenging and changing perceptions. • The ads show the reality of living with the condition
  9. 9. The campaign… • Three ads, billboard advertising, social ads… • For O&E media, needed to tell stories of real people • So to achieve this we just needed people to talk about their condition honestly. Easy right?
  10. 10. WRONG!!!
  11. 11. What we didn’t anticipate… • We knew what we needed to do was to change societal perceptions. But it wasn’t just them we needed to influence. • We needed to get people with arthritis to believe it was okay to talk honestly. That they wouldn’t be dismissed. That they would be listened to. That people would understand.
  12. 12. What we found • People would articulate to us the pain they were in • But they played down the impact of it • They played down what they needed from society • Because they didn’t feel like they were worthy of demanding more
  13. 13. PANIC!
  14. 14. • It really shouldn’t have come as a surprise to us – this problem, was exactly what we were trying to change • Our decisions were based in insight – and they were right. This only strengthened that • Reassessed, reassured and reset 1. Took a step back
  15. 15. • Really long briefs! • Spent more time on briefs – both written and verbal • Had to take people on the journey of what we wanted to achieve – speedily • Every film took longer – set up time, extra questions 2. Briefs. But not brief briefs.
  16. 16. • Our plan was always to show the impact of arthritis on people with the condition, and those around them • Apparent that we didn’t need to just show this to the public – but also to the people with arthritis so they could see the positive impact of them talking about their condition • Produced a film with loved ones… 3. Wider impact
  17. 17. • The problem was talking about arthritis was not ‘normal’ • Needed to borrow the voices of others, more high-profile, to demonstrate why we should talk about it • Partnership with Gogglebox to: • Get people talking about arthritis and it’s true impact • Encourage other people with arthritis to talk about their condition 4. Borrow voices to create a new norm
  18. 18. • Some really good pieces of coverage and video content. As well as some okay pieces…. • But as a result, an outpouring of honest stories online • An inbox full of stories – that we’re still getting through • An environment that encourages more people to be honest What we’re proud of
  19. 19. • Being reactive – we can all do it, but it can be tough in the midst of a campaign • Time – when time is short • Some stories just didn’t fit the campaign – had to use elsewhere, not hero assets The tough stuff
  20. 20. 1. Don’t panic! (as long as your decisions are based on insight) 2. If you’re challenging perceptions – take stock to think about where your beneficiaries are in that journey 3. Flexible approach – rejig content. How else can you tell the story? 4. Think about voices you can borrow to amplify – and create a new norm 5. Be brave – don’t use it if it’s not working TOP TIPS
  21. 21. ANY QUESTIONS?
  22. 22. The power of human stories: how to be an authentic storyteller 28 February 2019 London #CharityStories
  23. 23. Visit the CharityComms website to view slides from past events, see what events we have coming up and to check out what else we do: www.charitycomms.org.uk

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